|The Farm by Emily McKay|
December 4, 2012
Source: Personal Purchase
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…My Review:
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...
This book places us right in the midst of "the farm" from the start. We aren't given a whole lot of background as to why they are there and what is going on in the world around them. As the story progresses, we are given more and more information as to how and why these "farms" were created, who these "ticks" are, and what may or may not be going on with the world outside of these "farms." This mystery does a good job at making the reader want to keep reading to learn more. But it also leaves the reader with many questions that, unfortunately, are not always answered to the degree and depth one may like. I, for one, enjoyed learning about the world Ms. McKay created, but I could still have used more details. But what I did like is her unique take on vampires versus "ticks" and what their roles in society are and how they came to be. I found her concepts intriguing, and look forward to finding out more.
As for characters, I liked that this book incorporates twin girls, but despite looking the same, they are very different. Lily is the socially functioning one, whereas Mel is autistic and has her own limited style of communication. I found watching their interactions both interesting and frustrating. I liked that the author used both their POVs in the book, letting us into not only the "normal" girl's head, but also into Mel's head. Mel's voice was unique and, honestly, confusing at times. But it did help me understand her better, and I loved her musical views. We additionally have a third POV, Carter, who is Lily and Mel's old schoolmate. What I didn't like was that Lily and Mel's POVs were first person, but Carter's was third person. The inconsistency distracted me a bit and took a little away from how I connected with the characters. I would have preferred them all being from first person. But that's just me. I still enjoyed reading from the three main characters POV. There were additional secondary characters that I found really interesting and had a lot of potential in the storyline, but felt they could have been flushed out a little more. I really wanted to get to know them better, and hope they have more of a role in future books.
The plot and storyline itself was really interesting. Ms. McKay certainly kept my attention. I wanted to keep reading and figure out what was going on - what Carter's deal was, what was up with the vampire, would Mel be able to express herself, did Lily have an special powers, and so much more. Plus, the ending is a kicker, leaving you wondering about the choices they made and if the consequences will be worth it. The action and suspense was there, and the questions were answered, and then new questions were developed. By the end, I can't say that I even understood 100% of what was going on, but my attention was held, my pages were read quickly, my curiosity is peaked, and I look forward to the next installment and what's going to happen next.